IDEA National Assessment Implementation Study: Final Report
This paper examines the state of IDEA services in the five years after the law’s most recent reauthorization in 2004. Findings are drawn from a 2009 survey of state special-education offices as well as 1,200 school districts. Though there is much throat-clearing in the report, it is chockablock with relevant data. Perhaps the most interesting tidbits relate to implementation of intervening services for students who are not yet identified as special-needs but who require additional supports to succeed academically: Eleven percent of districts have voluntarily opted to direct allotted IDEA funds toward services like Response to Intervention (RTI), something they’ve only been allowed to do since 2004. (RTI is an instructional technique that provides students with tiered and increasingly intensive instruction to address problems in their early stages.) Still many more districts provide such services without tapping into their IDEA funds: When it comes to RTI specifically, fully 71 percent of districts—encompassing 61 percent of elementary schools, 45 percent of middle schools, and 29 percent of high schools—use RTI. Unfortunately, the report stops short of analyzing why districts are opting to spend their own cash on RTI initiatives, rather than directing federal dollars to the cause, circling us back to an issue with special-education writ large: Where, how, and why money gets spent remains a black box.
|Click to listen to commentary on IES's IDEA report from the Education Gadfly Show podcast
Bradley, M.C., Tamara Daley, Marjorie Levin, Fran O’Reilly, Amanda Parsad, Anne Robertson, and Alan Werner, “IDEA National Assessment Implementation Study,” (Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute for Education Sciences, 2011).
blog comments powered by Disqus